Transcription of the DAoC Dev Q&A for the 12th Dec Midgard Cathal Valley event

grak_mid_cathal

Rob aka Grakulen host of MMORPG.com’s Wayback Wednesday, a series which looks at older MMO’s. Did another event for Dark Age of Camelot last night. This time in Cathal Valley for Midgard levels between 45 and 49.

The last broadcast was the 11 year broadcast and they wanted as many people as possible to take part so they ran the event in New Frontiers for level 50‘s.


Video


Participants

This event was the first without Kai, since he left Mythic for Elder Scrolls Online.

  • Grakulen – Host of Wayback Wednesday for MMORPG.com
  • Tim Chappell – Mythic Community
  • Talal Saad – DAoC Assistant Producer and Project Lead

News

Mythic Name Change

Name change back to Mythic from BioWare Mythic, no hard feelings towards BioWare but want a strong brand name for the future.

Mordred Transfers

It will happen in January. From Mordred to Ywain, no specific details yet, they will be revealed.

Patch 1.114

Available for testing on Pendragon soon and coming in January will include Labyrinth changes, simple changes to make the Labyrinth experiences better for all styles of gameplay.

Performance Fixes & Improvements

For example the endurance bug and crashing to character select issues.

New Epic Armor and Champion Quests

New epic armor will be released with upgraded stats through Champion Quests which are being re-engineered.

Class Balance

Reavers, Maulers, Warlocks and a few other general classes.

New Frontiers

Based on feedback from Caledonia event, which was generally positive, people enjoyed having a smaller more accessible RvR battlefield, getting into the action was easier. They are looking at how to make the action in the new frontiers more accessible.

Talal Title Change

Talal is now the assistant producer and project lead for Dark Age of Camelot.

Midwinter Event Next Week

Including Medal of Honor and trophy rewards.


Questions

Since I can’t make any of these Q&A sessions, I’d love some itemized feedback on my quality of life suggestions.

Bi-weekly events are something players want to see, are there any plans currently or down the road to provide these events for players?

(Talal) Actually yes, it’s an initiative they are looking forward to starting, things like swag giveaways, 30 day gametime codes, they want to involve the playerbase directly in the events and come up with unique and fair ways to give players the opportunity to win some stuff and fight eachother and test out some ideas for successful events.

Probably not bi-weekly, but regularly. There are a collection of events but they are usually associated with holidays, there is a mid-winter event coming up with Medal of Honor and trophies. They are happy to entertain event submission ideas that are reasonable.

Planning to opening a new server with a fresh start?

(Talal) May have heard talk about an Origins server, which was being designed a few years ago. Plans for that new server was discontinued. There are no plans for a new server from scratch.

There is no reason that they would want to dilute the RvR population, this is the reason for the Ywain super server. Having more enemies to fight adds value to subscribers.

Can crafting windows should show the item stats and the ingredients?

(Talal) If it could be simply implemented, you could expect it. There is a direct correlation between the simplicity of the change, and the chance of a change being implemented.

A lot of changes are coming up, and the game is being constantly worked on. This past year they have made a push to upgrade the UI, added some new windows, expanded the spell and effect delve. For the immediate future there are no plans but it is feedback they have been receiving, and it has been recorded.

When are you going to improve the herald webpage?

(Tim) They are constantly working on it, they are specifically talking about the guild functionality it used to have. They don’t have any plans to update that as of yet, they don’t think they can support that. There are event information which are put on the herald, and they will look at putting the new event information up on there.

I would like to see a dedicated section for event information which includes the seasonal events and the time periods that they are typically run in. Sort of an event calendar.

Regarding herald functionality, I specifically want them to answer why they aren’t making the XML public (it is still generated) so that third party sites can show the information, but they continue to avoid this.

Players could really use a new server interface, complicated to implement, but a large amount of players could be helped with frustration when switching Ywain servers.

(Talal) Absolutely agree, they admit that the login process isn’t exactly modern, the infrastructure was laid down in 1999/2000 a great deal has changed since then.

Unfortunately the amount of resources required to overhaul the login process is significant, and it’s not something they can arbitrarily throw on the schedule and it has to be properly designed and thought out. But it is something that is talked about often.

Wasn’t there a security issue with the herald?

(Tim) Exactly, some of the guys labelled it as a hacker hotel or something like that.

(Talal) It is more fair to say that they acknowledge that there were security concerns, and in order to protect themselves they had to shore up the herald. It is something they miss, and they would love to provide it again. They appreciate the patience and they will try to get there.

The solution was to update the server structure apache/php etc not remove the whole thing.

Poison pouch? somewhere for assassins to put poisons to free up inventory space, similar to archers quiver.

(Talal) One of his own personal pet projects, something he really wants to see. A ton of players who have been playing a long time have filled up their inventory with necessary of sentimental items. Yes is the short answer, something they are actively looking into and hopes to give details on it soon.

One of the bigger reasons I left the game was that farmers would abuse higher level monsters, people would appeal this nightly but nothing changed, has the issue been addressed or calmed down?

(Talal) When you say farmers, or macro groups that are strictly PvE players that camp and farm high level encounters, don’t know when you left so can’t really comment, best way to find out is to try it out for yourself.

On a serious note, there was a time where there were a high level of complaints but currently there aren’t many complaints being received right now. He doesn’t feel that it is a problem as much as it was previously.

Due to PvE being obsolete now I bet.

Turning in stacked items like reforming energies is very time consuming, any improvements coming?

(Talal) Yes, he is working right now on improving the turn-in process. It could be as simple as turning essences into energies, or allowing the npc to accept stacked items.

Free to Play

(Rob) It’s been spoken about in the past, the problem with F2P is that you have to monetize things, and that’s difficult in a PvP game.

(Talal) It’s been discussed at great length, and it comes down to if you want to sell power. The most coveted items provide great advantages and would it be fair to allow someone to come in and increase their power? There are creative ways around this and they have been discussed, but there are no current plans to turn DAoC free to play. They understand the risks and the reward.

(Rob) And it’s a ton of work to do it right. DDO essentially did an entire expansion to convert it from subscription to F2P, and their world lends itself to F2P where you buy expansions, and DAoC isn’t like that.

(Talal) Turbine pioneered the western F2P model, and a number of games have been released F2P and struggled, you have to have a great game, and not depend on the model to have instant success. It is possible, but risk vs reward.

To wrap it up, they would like to believe the game is worth paying a subscription, if you really get what you want out of the game, and if the game is worth paying for. A number of subscribers do believe it is, on their part they just want to make the game better so more people will think the subscription price is justified.

Any plans to increase artifact experience gains for killing players?

(Talal) Yes

Salvaged item materials should stack

(Talal) A lot of the features including the inventory are dated and what may seem like a simple change is actually more complicated. It’s been talked about and investigated the resource requirements and it is on a list in a certain place.

Any market fixes? search for bonus level or not showing capped merchants, or price per item if it is stacked?

(Talal) Yes, they have been examining these exact problems, and are looking into what is required to make those changes.

Can players go back and do the Pictish Invasion event?

(Talal) There was a big window to do those quests, if the rewards involved are what players want to see they can do something similar. But the multi-phased year long event was a one off.

Reenlistment Campaign

(Talal) They are working on a new type of campaign, not called Reenlistment, a fresh take on coming back to Dark Age, keep an eye out for updates.

Newb Friendly

(Talal) Dark Age is not a newb friendly game, it has a steep learning curve, and steeper mastery curve. So many nuances of the game that there are parts which aren’t intuitive. The satisfaction of mastering Dark Age PvP combat is satisfying because it is challenging.

There is a good population of people who don’t want their game experience spoon fed to them, they want to learn and be challenged. The end-game is sound because you can spend years on your character and still not be finished.

(Rob) Most games now are digital distributed, they don’t come with instruction manuals. When DAoC came out the manual was large, there was no tutorial.

(Talal) When DAoC was released there wasn’t a lot of choice for games, so you entered the game on the games terms, but now there is a lot more choice, so players play the game they are comfortable with. Their goal is to get new players who are confused and have them stick around.

(Rob) So many AAA MMO’s exist and are coming out, it is more about building quality systems and building a vibrant world. People need to have an original idea and not play WoW clones.

(Talal) Newer games try to capture all demographics, but Dark Age has a niche and isn’t designed for small minutes game sessions.

(Rob) The leveling experience is too fast and is detrimental to the game.

That is DAoC PvE currently (not RvR).

White dye has already been discussed, but is it possible to get it similar to WAR?

(Talal) That’s not on the plate, white dye requires a lot of art resources. Which are the least available to DAoC.

PvE Experience and a well rounded crafting system to sustain the current player population?

(Talal) Do you believe that DAoC’s current crafting system is no longer, fun, rewarding and viable? If the majority of players believe that the crafting system requires an overhaul, they don’t get much feedback on this apart from a few tweaks.

They want to update legendaries and make them more viable. A long time ago they made a promise to the community that they won’t allow the crafting system to be eclipsed by in-game drops. It is something they did fail on, crafting is used to fill gaps in templates, not the center piece on them.

They can do some work with the existing crafting system to make it more reasonable, such as updating the legendary weapons. Can’t promise an overhaul in the crafting system.

It isn’t the most exciting gameplay, it has matured as most people have their templates and items, and usually have a crafter, there is still demand but not constant orders.

Serious problem in Labby RvR, bots are ported in and are immune when they are near to death, can it be fixed?

(Talal) 1.114 coming in January has some updates to the Labyrinth, specifically they are looking at the porting mechanisms and vulnerabilities there. And how players could exploit those vulnerabilities to make for a pretty crappy game experience.

Realm Loyalty Bonus

(Talal) There are still players who play only one realm, and dedicate their game life to the protection of the one realm. They love the immersion and investment and people do complain about people who hop realms and it does diminish the gameplay.

Realm loyalty is a tough one, it has been talked about, but not coming in 1.114. When they are happy with a solution they will let us know.

Have you considered changing the credit for relic takes? currently only groups get credit, but battlegroups should?

(Talal) Yes

What can be done about Plat Caps?

(Talal) Something Talal will ask an engineer, feedback next stream.

Balancing

(Rob) Won’t be talked about specifically, there are 45 unique classes and it is inevitable that there are things which aren’t balanced.

(Talal) One man’s balance is another man’s bat shit crazy. They do their best to balance the game. They can’t develop the game with their own preferences, they do have select people on the private forums who give great feedback and it is read.

1.114 will address a few classes specifically. Culmination of years of feedback, reaches a critical mass and they are forced to make a change.

Darkness Falls Loot Update

(Talal) Not necessarily Darkness Falls, and not necessarily Legion.

Yes, they have been talking about expanding the loot tables of some high level encounters, from other high level encounters.

Emails to invite older players to return

(Talal) Actively pushing for email blasts, he agrees that getting in touch with non subscribed players giving them a list of changes they’ve made over the past years they may be tempted to give it a go.


Rewards

The following people viewing the live stream were rewarded with 30-day DAoC time cards.

I still want one.

Crumworld, Jkwel, Matthewkane, Malatryz, Epiclyralphy


Next Stream

They will be running Thidranki on Albion next month something like 9th Jan. You will need to be leveled between 20 and 24.


Previous Streams

Hibernia

Midgard

  • Thidranki: Not sure if they did one
  • Molvik – (12 September 2012)
  • New Frontiers – (November 2012 – 11th Anniversary Event)
  • Cathal Valley – (This One)
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